Tonsils go bye-bye

Got my tonsils out today.

As with most of my life, I appear to be running about 20 years behind the rest of the population on this. For things like learning to knit or joining a martial arts class, that’s not necessarily bad. But for getting your tonsils out, apparently, the experience is much more painful as an adult than as a child.

So let’s cover the basic questions first:

Yes I can eat ice cream all week if I want to, though they actually recommended shakes and smoothies over dairy products because of mucous production.

Yes I get two weeks off. Yesterday this sounded like a great opportunity to get some small things done around the house, but today post-surgery I’m convinced I’ll be asleep for the whole time. I’ve now been awake for almost a half hour and it’s closing in on the longest I’ve been awake since they took the loppers to the inside of my throat.

Right now it feels like the worst sore throat or case of strep or whatever that I’ve ever had, and that’s with the pain drugs having worn off. If I could stay awake when the drugs were in effect, I’d probably feel ok when not swallowing.

I have zero appetite.

I also have a whole new appreciation for my iPhone and my iPad. Since I can use them from the sofa comfortably (unlike my desktop or even my 17″ laptop) they’re my main source of communication when my throat hurts too much to talk. I cant imagine how isolated or frustrated I’d feel without them.

I still swear Steve Jobs designed the iPad when he realized how much using a computer in a hospital bed sucks. No one else believes me, but I say it’s no coincidence the guy stuck in a small sterile room for weeks at a time devised a one-button computer with good-sized keys and the ability to complete the day-to-day tasks that keep us as part of the human race. His liver cancer was the greater hands-on study of technology in a medical setting that an innovator could ask for.

Having an extremely limited ability to communicate by sound has also given me a new desire: to find a charity (or charities) that provide children with language issues iPads so they can interact with their world.

If you know of any, can you drop them in the comments?

I’m falling asleep writing this, so you’ll hear from me again later.

More lessons learned the hard way

Public service announcement for people as dumb as I am: “maximum strength” doesn’t mean the same thing everywhere.

Maximum strength Sudafed is 30mg of pseudoephederine. I used to take 1 a day.

Maximum strength Mucinex D is 120mg of pseudoephederine. I’ve been taking 1 a day.


So, back to the drawing board…

The epilogue to the last post

My legs ached for about four days after the fire alarm at the hotel, which didn’t surprise me at all because my body’s not real hot on workouts without stretches, especially adrenaline-fueled workouts.

But when I realized that my muscles were all feeling pretty good and my hip joint was actually getting worse, I thought maybe I might have to see a doctor. And when I realized that I couldn’t comfortably put my own socks on in the morning and I needed Nighthawk’s help, he decided I did in fact need a doctor.

So I’m seeing an orthopedist now, who believes I screwed up my back and it’s in turn screwing with the nerves that run into my hip. He sent me to an excellent physical therapist who agrees, and says my sacroiliac joint has gone all wonky (though obviously not in those words. And I tell you that just because sacroiliac is such a fun word to say (or type).

But sitting at a desk (especially when I get paid to do so all day every day) is no picnic, and it’s forced me to ration comic and posting time. I need the strength to spend at work. Fortunately, the internet is still overflowing with idiocy, so we will still have some kind of update whenever I can sit at the computer. Like tonight.

Only now I’m all achy again, so goodnight.

A hopefully quick post, since I left you hanging last time.

…So let,’s see, when I last left off, I’d made it through the first four days of UI13, watched the Phillies clinch a spot in the World Series, packed my luggage and carry-on bag, and was heading to bed at 2AM on Thursday morning.

That nap lasted until 2:45, when a loud noise and a voice in my room woke me up suddenly. The noise was alarm-like and the voice was coming from a speaker in the wall. Now, we’re talking 2:45 am here, so when I tell you that the pleasant voice explained that the emergency alarm system had been activated, note that I’m paraphrasing. As close as I can remember, it (she?) said that the alarm had been activated, and if this message is followed by the sound of an alarm, we should evacuate our floor immediately. Otherwise, we were to stay in our rooms and await further instructions.

I’m the daughter of one firefighter and sister to another. I’ve got a pretty good idea that these folks have their system down to a science, but it’s 2:45 am. I got up. I paced the room for a few minutes while the voice pleasantly repeated its annoucement two or three more times and then went silent. Just to be extra cautious, I got dressed in the clothes I’d laid out for the next morning anyway. And then I waited. I paced between the window that showed just glimpses of firetruck lights bouncing off the building facade and the door I couldn’t decide to go through.

I picked up the phone to call the front desk to see if they had any insights, because that message just didn’t seem to be penetrating my skull very well. If I heard the message, was that the alarm? Or was the alarm supposed to sound like something else? And how would I know what the alarm was supposed to sound like? The phone rang about eight times, and then the wall let out a loud whooping noise.

That was enough for me. I slammed the phone down, grabbed my carry-on full of geek gear (laptop, phone, gameboy, etc.), threw it onto my back, and headed for the door.

As an aside, it’s worth noting that even at 2:45 am the things I’d been taught all my life were in the forefront of my mind. I knew I’d had time to get dressed because the many mattress fires at Gaige Hall had taught me that if you don’t smell smoke or see the fire, you probably have time to get dressed. I’d also checked the temperature of the door before touching the doorknob or opening the door into the hall, where the fire alarm lights were flickering happily but no one else appeared to be moving.

Down the hall I went, and into the stairwell, where I learned a truth I will never forget. You might think you don’t have the strength or energy to go down 20 flights of steps, but when it’s 3 AM and there’s a very real chance that something nearby is on fire, you have the strength and energy… and in fact, when you meet up with some other guy in the stairwell, you’ve even got the strength and energy to joke about it.

If the announcement about the drill wasn’t a funny enough WTF to deal with at a usability and information architecture type conference, the sign at the bottom of the stairwell made sure to top it. I wish I had a picture so I wasn’t once again paraphrasing, but to the best of my memory it said, “If you were evacuated from your floor due to an emergency, go outside using the door to the right. If your floor wasn’t evacuated, use the door to the left to go to the lobby.”

Having not seen any smoke or fire and really having no damn clue where the fire was, I opted for the lobby. There were at least 50 people already there, and many more straggling in. A glance at the window revealed that even more of us had opted for the “outside” door. Everyone was exhausted but no one was angry or mean-spirited. We just wanted to know if our stuff was on fire.

It wasn’t. A smoke alarm on the 3rd floor was malfunctioning and setting off the alarm, and the only folks with the ability to reset it were the local fire officials. Now at first glance that might sound stupid, but, well, it keeps the hotel owners honest — they can’t just wish away a fire and shut the alarm off.

We sat in the lobby for probably close to a half hour if you include the time it took for the elevators to be reset and for an entire 26-floor hotel to pile into those elevators to go back to their rooms. Unfortunately, I was totally high on adrenaline at that point, so I didn’t get to sleep until close to 5.

The alarm went off at the bright and early hour of 7:30 am, but i slept in until 8 before crawling my way back downstairs for the end of the sessions. Rather than drag out the rest of this post with details from the end of the conference, I’ll say this: the speakers were awesome, and if my plane hadn’t been scheduled for a 4:30 flight I would have definitely stayed for the entire day’s presentations.

Oh, wow, I ache.

Today, we moved back into the master bedroom we started remodeling over two years ago. I know it was over two years ago because I comicked about putting the floor in. Moving back in meant buying a new mattress, new sheets, new boxspring, drastic but fruitless attempts to buy lamps and drapes, and moving everything into the room, which turned out to be a much bigger task than expected and involved going up and down the stairs way too often.

Tomorrow I pray my feet don’t hurt nearly as much as they do right now because, well, I have martial arts and that would suck.